Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional Program

Photo Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program

Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional Program

The Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional (CBLP) certification program is a new voluntary, regional, advanced credential, creating a network of sustainable landscape professionals who design, install, and maintain sustainable landscapes. CBLP provides training on small-scale stormwater retrofit best practices and conservation landscaping to benefit the environment.

The six states and the District of Columbia in the Bay watershed are working to meet environmental goals by reducing stormwater runoff and pollution from sediment and nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. These efforts have created an increased demand for highly trained conservation landscape professionals. When designed, installed and maintained properly, best management practices (BMPs) such as rain gardens (bioretention areas), permeable pavement, buffers, trees and native plantings, and rainwater harvesting are effective in reducing the negative impacts of stormwater. By working with nature, sustainable landscapes also support local and Bay-wide biodiversity and habitat restoration goals.

Many local governments, watershed groups, and property owners report a scarcity of qualified professionals or uncertainty about how to locate them.  Landscape professionals also report that it is difficult, time-consuming and expensive to choose the right training on the right standards for their staff to attend.

The CBLP program provides standards and guidance for providing high-quality, Bay-specific, consistent training to professionals across the region. To connect certified CBLPs with clients and employers, and enhance the marketability of their skills, the program provides a searchable database of qualified landscape professionals, which is available at cblpro.org

CBLP is organized by a consortium of partners: Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council (CCLC), University of Maryland Extension, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) Habitat Partners© and Wetlands Watch. The National Fish and Wildlife Federation, University of Maryland Sea Grant, the Campbell Foundation, Virginia Environmental Endowment, the Prince Charitable Trust and the VDGIF Habitat Partners© provided funding for the CBLP initiative planning and pilot. The DC Department of Energy and Environment funded development of the CBLP landscape maintenance manual.